Skip to main content

Gears of War 2 - Title Update 2 Impressions: Multiplayer is BACK!

I have to admit, it's pretty funny to be so psyched up about a patch for Gears of War 2. We're not really talking about an expansion here or a map pack...it's a PATCH/UPDATE for the multiplayer mode.

Gears of War 2 may win accolades for its single player campaign, and Horde Mode is one of the best innovations introduced to the series....but a lot of players moved on after that, instead of investing a lot of time in the Multiplayer Mode. I recall with Gears of War 1, I spent a whole lot of time with that game (lag issues and all) because the gameplay felt quite good. The bullets would lag but you could predict the timing and at some point you could get good at the game even with the problems online.

With Gears of War 2, there seemed to be many problems plaguing it. I'm not the first to complain about the decreased power of the Gnasher shotgun at close quarters. Another observation by some players is that running with the chainsaw seemed too effective a tactic, and it seemed to have cheapened the game and reduced it to a mere chainsaw fest.

After two updates, Epic Games seems to have figured out what's wrong with the game, and fixed it.

So when I played the game this evening, I felt like I was playing Gears 2 Multiplayer for the first time....this experience was how it SHOULD have been, that day I first bought the game and tried the online multiplayer mode. Now, it really works great.....here are some impressions:

1. The Gnasher shotgun now works well in close quarters....actually, the way it works is somewhere between the way it worked in Gears 1 and the way it used to work in Gears 2 before the patch. With Gears 2 originally, it seemed to be an unwieldy weapon at close quarters. I'm not sure if it's latency but definitely the behavior seemed different. The weapon felt weaker and not so useful when you're one on one with another player.

With the patch, it's different. It won't grant you an instant kill when you blindfire, but it seems more effective when you do blindfire. I noticed I was downing more players with the shotgun than before. In one instance I was able to kill instantly but it was a well aimed shot. Considering how laggy a connection based in the Philippines can get, it is a real improvement. Before the patch I would find myself using the shotgun point blank at someone and it really wouldn't hit (no blood splatter, no stagger on your opponent).....but this time, it really does work. So the shotgun is a useful weapon once more :)

2. Rushing with the chainsaw can now be easily countered by the Lancer. Before the patch, when you're shooting someone rushing in /roadie running at you, they could still easily reach you and chainsaw you up close. With this new patch, it's much easier to stop someone who is roadie running towards you with any weapon. I noticed I made many opponents stagger when they tried rushing at me to go for an easy chainsaw kill.

It seems many of the players didnt realize this new behavior yet, so I noticed a lot of online players will still try for the easy rush and chainsaw attack. It does not work anymore....so if you see someone try it on you, counterattack with whichever weapon you have. You should survive unscathed.

Another thing I noticed is the chainsaw battle registers better (triggering a chainsaw duel feels smoother) despite any latency that may exist between you and other players.

3. Finding a match is much, MUCH faster---even if you're with a party of friends! Later tonight I joined up with some other players from Pinoyxbox and we were all able to find matches easily. It seems closer to the speed of finding a match when you're playing Halo 3, which is definitely a good thing.

When I was playing alone it was also a bit faster to find another party of players to join with. Overall, matchmaking is definitely faster and a smoother experience.

For comparative purposes, my connection is PLDT MyDSL Plan 999 and I didn't encounter too many lag issues with Gears of War 2 with this new patch. In many ways I think it feels a lot better than my online experience with Gears 1, where the bullets would have a noticeable delay. Here, there is still a bit of delay but it's far, far reduced, and overall the experience is really better compared to when the game was originally released.

So if you're one of the people who've given up on Gears of War 2 and moved on to other games....I think this update will convince you to give the game another try. Now Gears of War 2 Multiplayer is exactly the way it should have been when the game was released November last year.

Popular posts from this blog

Gamers based in the Philippines: How to get in Xbox Live

NOTE: This article has recently been updated (as of August 12, 2006). Singapore no longer lets you input '00000' as your zip code. Please see below for alternate zip codes.

So you're a Filipino living in the Philippines with a brand-spanking new Xbox 360. You've heard about all the wonderful stories on Xbox Live. You happen to have a pretty good broadband connection. One day, you try out the Xbox Live sign-up options on your 360, and you find out to your dismay that your country is NOT listed. What do you do?

Now, you can probably enjoy your 360 without live at all, but I have to tell you: YOU ARE MISSING OUT. As Peter Moore said in the recent MS Press Conference: "Having your 360 connected to Xbox Live is as vital as having your computer connected to the Internet".

He is so damned right.

I've been playing on Xbox Live for almost a year now (both on my original Xbox and the Xbox 360). Essentially I found out all of this with a little bit of research, a little…

Xbox One - System / Games general review

We picked up a [kinect-less] Xbox One a few weeks ago and have been putting it through its paces. Overall, right now I feel pretty good about this console. But I have to admit, the first experience of buying it is not very good. I'll go with the BAD news first. But do note that it isn't all bad news....

- The first time you bring it home, the console can't work without Internet. That's because it needs an absolutely-unoverrideable mandatory update. Basically, if you get this for your birthday and it's 7PM, expect to actually play games on it around a day or so later, depending on your internet speed.

- The first patch I got for it was around 800MB. This number might have changed by the time of this writing.

- All the launch games now have accumulated patches/updates over 16+ GB in size. Not just Dead Rising 3, which has been reported widely in the media. Even Forza 5.

- My internet at home is PLDT 3Mbps; managed to get all the updates pretty quickly....that's a…

E3 2015 Conferences from the Big Three - My thoughts

Microsoft:

- They get a lot of points from me for actually announcing games that will be out in 2015.
- The Backwards Compatibility update is a huge surprise that I absolutely did not expect. Having BC is difficult and expensive to do, but somehow MS managed to do it, which leads me to believe the solution they found is an inexpensive one if they've decided it's practical to do QA work for the Xbox 360s gigantic library of games and make them all work on the Xbox One. If it was too complicated or expensive they probably wouldn't have bothered. But since they did, I think we're going to see full BC some time soon for all games. It's only a matter of time.
- Halo 5 looked fantastic, but 343 has a lot of work to do to restore faith, after the horrific launch of the Halo Master Chief Collection. I think they can do it, and I'd imagine they're certainly motivated now. If they screw this one up....MS might reconsider forming a new team to handle the Halo franchis…